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Union Theological Seminary in New York City honored one of its favorite sons Friday with an hour-long Zoom conversation attended by hundreds of friends and admirers of U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, who earned a Master of Divinity at Union in 1994 and his doctoral degree there 12 years later. Watch Warnock’s hour-long conversation with the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, Union’s president, here.
A desire to see the prison industrial complex replaced with a more equitable and caring system has brought together a group of like-minded people who are having meetings and raising funds to be donated to organizations that work with incarcerated individuals and their families.
I never really liked Easter — the pastel holiday of springtime flowers, the tired imagery of an emptied tomb, the hollow cheers of “He is risen” — until I had friends buried away in prisons.
It wasn’t until I spent time in a jail as a volunteer with people awaiting actual trials that Holy Week became troubling and electric for me.
During a webinar this week, special guests of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People encouraged churches and other segments of society to find ways to help formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet.
Ever since discovering their church was built a century ago partly through funds donated “for the white race only,” the 1,200 or so members and the leadership of Knox Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, have worked hard not to duck the church’s history, but to learn from it and to, in tangible ways, reach out and make connections that make it clear where the church is headed during the next 100 years: ending the sin of systemic racism.